Hopeless Romantics

28 October – 8 November, 2013 School of Art Foyer Gallery, ANU

An exploration of love and its limits that I curated to coincide with a conference on the Radicalism of Romantic Love. It included the work of ten Canberra-based artists. My own work dealt with the fragilities and ambiguities of love and its tenuous trace in our lives.

Aside from curating the show I included two of my own works and one collaboration with Katie Hayne, an installation of found photographs. The work was titled Portrait of an Unknown Love Story.

“To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability,
mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs
testify to time’s relentless melt.” Susan Sontag

Photographs record our lives. We use photography to capture important moments
– weddings, family occasions, holidays and funerals. They become a record
of our history and the relationships we’ve shared. And there was a time when
photographs were amongst the most personally precious things we could hold.
This collection of photographs was found for sale in a Sydney second-hand store
– large ones a couple of dollars each, small ones 30 cents. Why were they for
sale? Who are these people and why didn’t they or their children want what was
once a treasured family archive? Is this the fragility of our carefully curated lives?
What does this absence of an ‘owner’ and this loss of ‘memories’ say, not only
about the particularities of these relationships, but also the contemporary status of
This forgotten collection spans three generations. A life of fragments that are no
longer relevant to those left behind; maybe simply because printed photos are an
old form of remembering that take up too much space in a time of smart phones
and Facebook. Sift through them and explore the unknown individuals and the
love in their lives.

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